Natural Horse Feeding
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Kelly
Posted on: May 27, 2007

I have recently bought a 16 hh chestnut thoughbred gelding & was wondering what herbs I could give him/grow that would be beneficial to his health. Do you recommend anything for chestnut horses & what kinds of vegetables beyond apples & carrots can he have? Is parsley okay to feed as well?

There are a couple of postings on this website (www.richters.com) that you might find interesting. Look for "Herbs to Grow for Horses" and "Horse Vitamins". These two postings should give you some general ideas regarding herbs for general health. The best foundation for health in any species is lots of variety in food choices, adequate amounts of outdoor exercise, low stress and good sleep. In fact and regarding variety, one source I know of says that in an old, unploughed meadow in the UK, 74 species of plants had been identified. Wouldn’t that be lovely for grazing!

As for parsley (Petroselinum crispum), it may be fed to horses at two to three handfuls of fresh herb per day or 20 to 30 grams of dried herb per day. As a strong diuretic, this herb is may be used in urinary complaints and in some cases of athritis. It will also increase milk production in lactating mares but should never be given to mares in foal. In addition, it has carminative properties so may help in some cases of digestive problems and flatulence.

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